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1.  Macro- and micronutrient intakes in picky eaters: a cause for concern?123 
Background: Picky eating (PE) is characterized by an unwillingness to eat certain foods and by strong food preferences. PE may result in lower intakes of energy and nutrients, which may compromise health.
Objectives: We quantified nutrient and food group intakes in children identified as picky eaters or nonpicky eaters and compared intakes between groups and with United Kingdom reference nutrient intakes.
Design: PE was identified in an observational cohort (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) from questionnaires administered when children were aged 2, 3, 4.5, and 5.5 y. Dietary intake was assessed at 3.5 and 7.5 y with a 3-d food record. The dietary assessment at 3.5 y compared picky eaters with nonpicky eaters identified at age 3 y, and the assessment at 7.5 y compared longitudinally defined PE groups.
Results: Picky eaters aged 3 y had lower mean carotene, iron, and zinc intakes than nonpicky eaters. There were similar differences between the longitudinally defined PE groups. Iron and zinc intakes were most likely to be below recommended amounts, with free sugar intake much higher than recommended. There were no significant differences in energy intakes between the groups, and intakes were adequate relative to estimated average requirements. Nutrient differences were explained by lower intakes of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits in picky eaters than in nonpicky eaters. There were higher intakes of sugary foods and drinks in older picky eaters.
Conclusions: PE did not result in compromised macronutrient intakes, although intakes of zinc and iron were more likely to be below recommendations for picky eaters than for nonpicky eaters. Emphasis should be placed on allaying parental concerns about picky eaters being prone to inadequate nutrient intakes and on encouraging all parents to extend their child’s diet to include more nutrient-rich items, especially fruits and vegetables, and less nutrient-poor sugary foods.
PMCID: PMC5118732  PMID: 27935522
ALSPAC; picky eating; macronutrients; micronutrients; antioxidants; meat; vegetables; fruits
2.  Folate network genetic variation, plasma homocysteine, and global genomic methylation content: a genetic association study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:150.
Sequence variants in genes functioning in folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism are hypothesized to lead to changes in levels of homocysteine and DNA methylation, which, in turn, are associated with risk of cardiovascular disease.
330 SNPs in 52 genes were studied in relation to plasma homocysteine and global genomic DNA methylation. SNPs were selected based on functional effects and gene coverage, and assays were completed on the Illumina Goldengate platform. Age-, smoking-, and nutrient-adjusted genotype--phenotype associations were estimated in regression models.
Using a nominal P ≤ 0.005 threshold for statistical significance, 20 SNPs were associated with plasma homocysteine, 8 with Alu methylation, and 1 with LINE-1 methylation. Using a more stringent false discovery rate threshold, SNPs in FTCD, SLC19A1, and SLC19A3 genes remained associated with plasma homocysteine. Gene by vitamin B-6 interactions were identified for both Alu and LINE-1 methylation, and epistatic interactions with the MTHFR rs1801133 SNP were identified for the plasma homocysteine phenotype. Pleiotropy involving the MTHFD1L and SARDH genes for both plasma homocysteine and Alu methylation phenotypes was identified.
No single gene was associated with all three phenotypes, and the set of the most statistically significant SNPs predictive of homocysteine or Alu or LINE-1 methylation was unique to each phenotype. Genetic variation in folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism, other than the well-known effects of the MTHFR c.665C>T (known as c.677 C>T, rs1801133, p.Ala222Val), is predictive of cardiovascular disease biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC3266217  PMID: 22103680

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